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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 24, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EST

9:00 am >> joseph kris pee know recounts the life and political career of the late senator strom thurmond of south carolina. the author recalls the me vents that composed the senator's 47-year career from his presidential candidacy to his 24-hour filibuster in 1957 and his movement from the democrat to the republican party in 1964. this is about 5 minutes. ..
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>> so my story about strom thurmond begins, it's late july, 1992, and i'm on a flight from washington, d.c. to charlotte, north carolina. i had been an intern that summer up on capitol hill, and one of my regrets of the summer was that i'd never seen strom thurmond. because all my fellow interns said you've got to see strom thurmond. he such an unusual appearance about him. i did know what they meant really your but i had my suspicions. so i'm on the flight and a look ahead in front of me and i see a man who's got kind of orange colored hair practically, so brightly colored. first generation hair plugs. shows you how slow i am that i think to myself, that must be what strom thurmond's head looks like. then, of course, it wasn't strom
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thurmond. i knew that when people reaching over trying to shake his hand. i wanted to shake his hand, too, because i'd been in d.c. that summer for the first time, and i met all of these politicians i've seen a tv. i was about to go home and speak to my dads rotary club and i wanted to tell them all about the famous people i met up in washington, d.c. and so i was going to try to shake his hand when i got off the plane come but as i got off the plane there were people already lined up to shake his hand. and i didn't get in line, and i didn't, i was in a constituent. i'm not a south carolinians. i don't have anything really to say to him, really. and i also to be honest was a little self-conscious. it was a busy airport. i was kind of self-conscious about standing in line waiting to greet a man who is best known for his old segregationist harangue. so i thought it was good enough to say i had seen him.
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and keep on walking. i get down, i'm conflicted do. i'm conflicted, and i walked down the concord about 100 yards and i look back and hear everybody is shaking his head, and here's this 89 year-old man at the time, he's got it his briefcase in one hand and a travel bag in the other, and a package under one arm and he's just shuffling down this busy crowded airport. and without thinking i go back and introduce my and introduce most of an asset senator thurmond, my name is joseph crespino, i would be happy to get you to your next life. and he said are you sure you got enough time, i don't want to delay you. i said i got plenty of time. so i picked up his bag. we walked together for about 10 minutes. and i was just trying to make conversation with strom thurmond. so i told him about all the people i've met that summer, and he said nice things about the various colleagues that i've met and that kind of thing. i told him i was on my way, i
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had a girlfriend from florence, south carolina, and i said some silly comment about south carolina girls. it was the smalltalk one made with strom thurmond. i got into his flight, and i shook his hand again, and that was it. but i thought about that story a lot as i was writing this book. because of that story is really a metaphor for the difficulty i had in writing about this, or the challenge that i face in writing about this or controversial figure. you know, there's not easy or straightforward way to write about a figure as controversy all as strom thurmond. and sometimes as i've been reading this book i've wondered if some of the stuff in the book is not another effort on my part to carry his baggage. and goodness knows he's got baggage that needs carried. but the other challenge i had, really, the real challenge i had with this book was the kind of fight the urge to not do kind
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of, you do, simply walk away and not meet the man face-to-face, you know, and present him as a of three-dimensional character. some real breathing human being. so that's the challenge i face. what i wanted to be really is to write a book about, right history of strom thurmond's america, in a way that would in a critical but dispassionate way, a way that would shed light on some of the issues that have shaped each of our own america's today. and i hope that in doing so you can add, a measure of reason and passion to these issues that embroil our politics today, and that divide us so. so that was the goal. that's the mission as it were, but what are the big issues? one of the issues that a history of strom thurmond's americaspeaks to? we remember, a lot of us remember who strom thurmond was.
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strom thurmond was a 1948 presidential candidate. strom thurmond was one of the lead authors of the 1956 southern manifesto. this is the protest the supreme court decision in the brown v. board of education decision 1954. strom thurmond is a recordholder to this day of the longest one man filibuster. and again his work pashtun and the guinness book of world records, 24 hours and 18 minutes he spoke against the 1957 civil rights bill. we remember strom thurmond today as one of the last of the jim crow demagogues. and he was. he was that. he was one of the last jim crow demagogue. what we forget about thurmond is that he was also one of the first of the sun belt conservatives. what do i mean by that? what's a sun belt conservative? the sun belt, it's one of the big stories, one of the major
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stories in the history of 20th century american politics. and that is the flow of jobs, of industry, of resources and population from the states of the northeast and the midwest to the south and the southwest in the post-world war ii period. the southern states were recruiting industries. they were passing right-to-work laws. they were receiving lots of funding from the federal government to build military installations at a time when the united states was involved in the cold war against the soviet union. so states like mississippi, states like georgia and texas and florida and southern california, arizona, north carolina are all being transformed in the post-world war ii period by this historic shift in population and political influence. just think about it. really does three from 1964 to two dozen eight could be thought of as kind of the carried of sun belt dominance in american presidential history.
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if you think about every president elected from 1964-2008 comes from a state of the sun belt. lyndon johnson from texas, richard nixon from california, gerald ford was never elected. he was not even elected vice president. he was a michigan. jimmy carter from georgia. ronald reagan from california. first george bush, texas by a connecticut. bill clinton from arkansas, and the second bush from texas. so 2008 is in some ways a watershed election. it is this 40 year period of sun belt dominance. and there were issues that are critical in the politics that develop, that came out of the sun belt. they tended to have a conservative task to them. they tended to be oriented around history of strong national defense, of an opposition to unions and a defense of free enterprise politics. and also it's in the sun belt, in the south and southwest that we see the rise of what we see by the 1970s is becoming to talk about as the religious right, the rise of evangelical
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involved in the clinical process in new and important ways. so thurmond was at the forefront of all of those issues in his own politics. national defense, he was a staunch anti-communist. he played an important role in right wing anti-communist populist politics in the late '50s and early 1960s. it's one of the things that led him to switch parties in 1964. he was a key figure in opposing labor unions. he did so alongside people like barry goldwater. even the early in his career he had been a staunch advocate of unions in south carolina back in the '30s and '40s when the union vote was an important vote in south carolina, but he switches in the '50s and 60s about 1970s, some diehard supporter of business against labor. then he also is important role in conservative evangelical politics. he joins the board of bob jones university in 1950.
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he does it to win votes. bob jones had just moved, just moved his university and thurmond needed votes in south carolina. had lost in 1950 race for the senate to johnson, larger on the strength of votes he didn't win in the up country. that began a long process, a long relationship of thurmond with conservatives fundamentalists and evangelicals who are looking to get involved in the political process. so we need to understand thurmond's racial politics in the mix of these other conservative causes, these conservative issues that he was very involved in. and to see how they intersect with one another. and i think doing so gives us the history of what strom thurmond's america looks like, and else is rethink not only was going on in the south but was going on in the national conservative political realm as well. rethink and strom thurmond helps
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us think modern conservatism to a history i think that is too often thurmond is left out of because we only remember him as this kind of cartoonish racist figure from the deep south. let me read you, an excerpt from the introduction. one reason we forget about strom thurmond is because he was so doggone old. right? [laughter] thurmond predated the founding generation of what is commonly understood as the modern conservative movement. he was the closest friend to william f. buckley senior and william f. buckley, jr., the founding editor of "national review" and one of the central figures of modern conservatism. buckley senior be restored in india government state in camden south carolina became a friend and regular correspondent with the then governor thurmond would have had no problem identifying as a strom thurmond american. i don't know of any other man in
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public life whose views i entirely approve of. his son has just ordered a new magazine and buckley sent them a years subscription to he said his son was a very fine public speaker and very sound adding he is for segregation in every issue. one of the most notorious editorials buckley, jr.'s published the national beer early years came during a battle and thurmond's career, the vikings 1957 civil rights bill. why the south must prevail a. four days before thurmond historic filibuster. i'm quoting now from that editorial. 57, the "national review." essential question that emerges is whether the white community in the south isn't up to take such measures as are necessary to prevail politically and culturally in areas in which it does not predominate in america. the sobering answer is yes. the white community is so entitled because for the time being it is the advanced race.
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buckley, jr. and thurmond would seem to occupy separate polls in conservative politics. their actions alone marked a alone marked their different backgrounds and experiences. it is easy to forget that buckley was once a fledgling writer and publisher trying to stimulate himself and the world of politics and letters. the son of a oil baron, and thurmond was a priceless compact, father and son both. later, after a seachange inaugurated on the civil rights movement, thurmond would not be the only conservative leader with a segregationist record in need of scrubbing. in the 20 century american right was a smaller, more interconnected world than we often remember. now, i think strom thurmond life is interesting for the life that it shed on southern and -- it properly the light it sheds on southern a national politics in the second half of the 20th
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century. but strom thurmond's life is also interesting simply as a life. i mean, the man lived to be 100. he was full of twists and turns. it was full of psychological complexity, and unintended consequences, and it was full of secrets, too, right? we know the secret of his having fathered an african-american daughter, that we learned about after his death. i want to talk also a bit, too, about the motivations of thurmond, what drove him, and a lot of that comes back to his childhood. the most important figure in thurmond's life was his father. his father had an interesting career. his father was an up-and-coming young politician, kind of in the blue machine of pitchfork ben gilman. ben gilman the biggest men in south carolina politics. he was also in demagogue of the jim crow south. he was the biggest men in south
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carolina, and thurmond's father was kind of a lieutenant in his operation. his father had been elected kind of a county prosecuting attorney and he was a successful career. he was on the rise when he got into a dispute one afternoon with the men. the men picked a fight with thurmond, saying that he was complaining about a position that his father had not been appointed to. the man was drunk and he was very, he cursed at thurmond and all the kind of separate they got into a road. thurmond walked back to his law office. the men came back around, thurmond ended up shooting the man and he was acquitted for self-defense. at if you're trying to build a political career, the county's biggest law enforcement official, it doesn't help if you've been on trial for murder. that's not good. and, in fact, thurmond would run for the house of representatives a couple years later, and he ended up finishing a distant third. he wouldn't ever run for
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electoral office again. but he ended of being an important kind of behind the scenes guy. important behind the scenes figure in south carolina politics. he would support important candidates and he was kind of managed things behind the scenes. and one of the campaigns that he managed was a campaign that was very influential in the lives of young strom thurmond. it was the 1912 gubernatorial election between ira jones was a former speaker of the house of softer leather, that was the candidate that strom thurmond's father supported. i read jones versus coleman believes, another important figure out of south carolina politics. very influential figure. and thurmond would always tell the store, strom thurmond would come about when people asked him how did you get involved in politics, when did you know you want to be a politician? he says i remember when i was, back when i was a boy i saw that race between ira jones and coal,
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and i saw how cold, i saw what he did to ira jones on the stump and i always found that i would learn how to speak on the stump and i would be able to defend myself. is a certain irony to that store because he was never known for skills on the stump as a speaker. but that's the way he renumbered it. that's the way he always told that story. and he told over and over when reporters would ask in that question. it's a formative story and i think that some of his other -- they missed what was important and what's interesting about that story. strom thurmond recalled his debate between them as his first lesson in political self-defense. and the importance of being killed in the verbal warfare of the stump, yet jones is generally asia was always matched in thurmond's memory by cole's master. and the power it gave him with the masses. in 1912, at age nine, thurmond encountered up close at an
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impressionable age the power of the demagogue, and expense both fearsome and a lowering your thurmond himself to on this background 36 years later when as a presidential candidate east polk the racist resentments. it was in birmingham in jul july 1948 that thurmond offered his own form of -- swearing that there were not enough troops in the army to force southerners to abandon segregation. hit you up on the 24 hour and 18 months he spent announcing the civil rights bill of 1957, as well as another firebrand oration he gave any massive resistance era, such as the 9058 speech on the supreme court's unconstitutional usurpation and unlawful delegations of power. ya thurmond also remembered the disdain of his father and other town folks, how cold mock attitude and opinion of the
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thinking people. it was one reason perhaps why later in his career thurmond would embrace the kind of magical thinking about his own adventures and demagoguery. denying that out right are civilly to rationalize them into something other. for the rest of his career, the poles between which strom thurmond's political ambitions would swing were established in the 1912 race. the intelligence, honorable jones was also hamstrung and toothless. blease, as despicable as he was to thurmond's father and his circle of respect, was stylish, clever, and formidable. it would seem that the firm and the principles that came vaguely combing old in thurmond's mind was political weakness, and perhaps, too, with his father's failed ambitions. while others decried as a listed and impoverished, thurmond knew to be something else as well.
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a key demand spheres and passions, up path to the influence and renowned that his father always longed for. but never achieved. now, there's one more i want to say about strom thurmond early years, and it revolved around one of the great things i found when i stood research for this book. i found it to a gentleman from edge hill, south carolina, a man who was himself an amateur historian, a lawyer, a very talented historian. a close friend of the thurmond's. who pointed me to a history, a biography of a man named francis butler simkins. he was in his own day a very well-known historian himself. in fact, francis butler kind of magnum opus as a biography of pitchfork ben tillman from his own hometown. so simkins grew up in a small
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town south to let up always fascinated with his own hometown. at some point he sat down to write this kind of gossip, thinly fictionalized account of his hometown called lich would. it was called in his text but the thing was never published. it's now preserved only in the archives at longwood university in virginia, where simkins taught for his whole life. but it offers a unique perspective on edgefield and the air in which strom thurmond was growing up, an era in which will thurmond was the biggest most influential figure in edgefield political life there in the early 1910s and '20s. let me read you all a bit of this and i'm going to stop talking. for sometime in the late 1940s, early 1950s, francis butler said and sat down to write a gossip fictionalized
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memoir about growing up in edgefield, or lich would as it appears in his text. it was never published and is preserved today only in his personal papers at longwood. the untitled manuscript is fastening for the light it sheds on his one time neighbors, simkins grew up on the road in a house right across from where strong truman -- strom thurmond grew up. he was fighters older than strom thurmond but andy wrote about two characters. the name hog stoopes and his son, still. these were not fictional characters also exactly the real of the compliments of will and strom thurmond as to make a pseudonym for purpose but at one point symptoms even slips and refers to hog stoopes as will. to spice my areas in facts, the manuscript revived and expected on will and strom thurmond and on edge would. symptoms treatment of hog stoopes is relatively generous.
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describing hogs as cold-blooded in his law practice, learned in the technicalities of the law without the remotest interest in justice or impolite culture. simkins also pronounced him deserving of the honorary degree of awarded him by the university of south carolina. hage was lich woods man of moderation and charity, quote refuse to speak and kindly of anyone. accounts most popular citizen for 40 years. the distinctive goalie that emerges from simkins portrait of hog stoopes was that of a remarkably a detroit fixer. stoops quote ruled lich would county through machinations so secret that one for decades could live under his authority without being aware of its existence. it was a quality that led blease to decried it as a pussyfoot. that's the other thing i didn't tell you about that 1912 election is that blease didn't just attack i read jones on the stump that he actually attacked
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strom thurmond's father. he called and pussyfoot for the we went around behind peoples back and didn't confront his political enemies man-to-man. that kind of thing. symptoms of a man whose candidacy at attorney was bloodlessly cut short by stoops. as was a schoolmaster whose dismissal stoops quietly engineered despite visiting the man before he left have to tell them how agreed he was to see him go. stone stoops was a slightly different breed. what possessing his father's sobriety, pleasing manners, industry and willingness to scheme to publish personal ambition, he was only half stoopes. the other was still. and it was on his mothers side of the famine that he was said to have inherited a penchant for acts of wild folly. he had an uncle on his mother side he was possessed of energy so maniacal that he -- stoned
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blackhawks good sense and deceptiveness, simkins wrote. what his father achieved by indirection, stone pursued openly and come in the process, attracted enemies. characteristics of halt and stone stoopes in simkins memoir provide context for defining event in the lives of will and strom thurmond. in the mid 1920s when strom was living at home in edgefield and teaching of the local high school, a situation developed inside the household going to when strom's acts of wild both. among the service employed was a 16 year-old african-american girl. october 1925, butler gave birth to a daughter, whom she named and see me. six months later, butler's sister took her to pennsylvania where she was moving with her husband. she passed the child to another sister who raised her as her own. not until she was 13 did she learn the identity of her actual
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mother. three years later, she met her father, strom thurmond, in his law office just off the town square in edgefield. essie mae's birth in october go inside with an abrupt occupational change for thurmond. he had been a schoolteacher in edgefield. the paper in a guesthouse on the very day essie mae is born announces he quits his job in the middle of the school year and is taken a job with a real estate firm and will be sent, he's going to be assigned in richmond, virginia, and he stays in the job as a real estate agent in virginia until several months after essie mae, as an infant, had been moved to pennsylvania. but then he comes back to edgefield county and start his career can teaching high school. thurmond departed from edge field the same month of essie mae's month, and returned a few months after the child had been moved to pennsylvania.
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we do not know whether will thurmond played any role in strom's temporary career change, or in essie mae being sent to pennsylvania. it's hard to imagine, however, that a man so careful with appearances, so mindful of his reputation in edgefield and throughout south carolina, and so hopeful about his son's ambitions would not have some hand in making sure that the young man's indiscretions did not imperil his future prospects. will thurmond new by hard experience how a youthful mistake could forever alter a political career. perhaps he has used legal and financial contacts to help get strong out of town for a while. perhaps handed over money to ensure the baby was transported out of the state. if that had been his desire, a quiet conversation with some of the relatives was all that would have been required. late, the thurmond's would regulate pass money to essie mae's caregivers in which he came of age, to essie mae has
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so. there may have been a difference between father and son, a sense of judgment or discretion if did not make it to one generation to the next. yet there remains an awesome fact that testifies to the sensibilities as a fixer. the details of this act of miscegenation, a secret that likely would've ended his career had it been revealed that practically at any point in his nearly three quarter-century of public service he took with him to his grave. now, that's a story about how that secret begin. it began i believe really with will thurmond. it was will thurmond aspiration for his father. it's remarkable how that secret persisted for so long but, of course, by the 1990s it became the worst kept secret in south carolina. everybody suspected it. after some newspaper reporters tracked down an 11 washington.
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but there were other -- one of the great documents i found was from 1957 when thurmond gave his filibuster, yeah, for 24 hours in 1 18 minutes, there was an im published in the african-american university, the chicago defender. and the bulk of the item was puzzling over how was the thurmond was able to speak for 24 hours and 18 minutes with only one bathroom break. you've got to keep your voice lubricated. you've got to keep drinking water. the story the thurmond told to the press was he had gone down to the senate steam room and had intentionally dehydrated himself so when he drank water his body would absorb it like a sponge. i asked a urologist friend of mine about the viability of that, and he was pretty dubious. but that's the story but that's the story that's always been told. what was interesting about the peace in the african-american newspaper, the chicago defender,
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they said that the rumor around the capitol hill was that thurmond had been outfitted with a device designed for long motor trips, who at a catholic device to quit interesting about that is there was a memoir published a couple years ago by an african-american man from south carolina, longtime worker on capitol hill who says he was there when thurmond was outfitted with this bag that ran down his leg. but no other evidence for it, that kind of thing. so it's one of come it's one of those mysteries -- urological mr. szabo strom thurmond's career. [laughter] but at the end of that item that was largely about the mystery of the filibuster was this oblique statement. something like, that are rumors, there's talk that thurmond is not as opposed to black people as it might seem. you could take that to say there had been rumors published in
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1940 when he is a presidential candidate that hit black cousins in pittsfield. but we also know that essie mae was already enrolled in school in south carolina at that time and that there are been rumors in the black community ever since then that she was a governor's daughter. vendors a remarkable thing of course that happened, he passes away. when essie mae washington holds a public news conference in south to assess strom thurmond was my father. they change the strom thurmond monument in south to lead. there was a black legislator who said what got to name his other four children on that monument here to we should put essie mae's name, too. and he did. there was a resolution that was passed and they change the monument. you know that old saying if it's written in stone, if it's written in stone you can change. that's not true. you can change don't all the time. they have to because they get
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dates wrong about when people die or when they are born or their names are spelled wrong. and i talked to the guy who owns the company who changed the strom thurmond memorial in columbus. and what you did issued a granite dust, you pounds that granite in till it's a fine powder and then you mix it with crazy glue. seriously. you mix it with plain old crazy glue. when it hardens is actually harder than the stone itself. they take that mixture and the pound and two where the letters had been carved to the action of pounded in so it's above the surface of the stone and they have to sand it smooth. then they carve back over the building area. they had to replace -- that was the trick that they could add essie mae's name on the bottom. there was space there, but it's a father of four children and had to change the for to a five. so when they carve back over that building area, if you don't get that granite powder really,
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really fine, it's got to be fine of that like baby powder, because if you don't when your car back over it it is prone to chipping but if you look closely at five, the i in the five got a chip on a. on the upper right side. and the left side of the v. is all squiggly. it's been shifted there, too. and the standing opened up that stone, the standing open up those other parts, the air and the oxidized but it's got a rust color all around the word five. the whole thing has been, you can change stone but you can't change it very easily. and you can see what is in effect the kind of scar on that monument. the stone has been scarred by the work that is been done to change that for into a fight. and in the epilogue, i reflect on the meaning of that scar. different ways different people could read the significance of the scarred stone. and in reading that stone in that monument, think about the legacy of strom thurmond on our
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politics today in the south and in the nation. if you want to know more about how you can read that still, i encourage you to buy this book. [laughter] and read it for yourself. you might learn something. i will even sign the book today. it's a painless process, i promise you. it's been a pleasure to be here, and thank you all for listening and coming out. [applause] >> and i think most of you probably come if you have questions, you cannot ask them to me before. but if there are any questions i'd be happy to field them. >> i have a question. i am very proud to know you, and i'm sure that -- [inaudible]. my question to you is, about trent lott and his comment that,
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when he got in trouble, saying that he used as his mentor, i think that's what -- >> though, he said he was proud his state voted for thurmond back in 40, and other states -- spelled right. did you address that in the book? >> i mention it in real-time. coming, it happened first in 1980. he said that in 1980, when he was introducing thurmond here in jackson. thurmond was a main speaker at a rally for ronald reagan a few days before the 1980 presidential elections. and for me it was interesting, it's interesting for lots of things in 1980 because trent lott is will in some ways a kind of figure to child in south olympic the last chapter of the book is -- that's where i deal with the revelations about essie
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mae washington williams and also tried to put that in a broader historical context to say that these are strom thurmond children before he had his nancy thurmond had been essie mae washington williams are but they're also figurative children. there's a generation of southern's who switched, democrats to the republican party. so that's what i talk about in the last chapter. so i talk about that just as kind of part of thurmond's reaction and other southern reactions to reagan in 1980. and then that party which trent lott says that again in 2002, this is in the summer of 2002, that was really kind of sort of thurmond's 100th birthday party but it's also sort of his going away party because his last year was, in the senate come his term is up in january 2003. he goes back to edge bill and the only lives for six more months.
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and at that point it's an interesting moment because that controversy kind of raises for the whole of coming in, the modern conservative movement, who is strom thurmond? and what role has deployed? and i thought it was trent lott and what role has deployed? and it's interesting, how other republicans and other conservatives are responding to that issue. and responding to that contribution. so that's part of the analysis, too, because they are interpreting thurmond. and, of course, what a lot of conservative national leaders are doing is they're trying to keep them as the crazy old all coal of the conservative revolution. a guy who's not really important, you know, conservative movement that's been going on in the last 50 years or so. and what part of my book is argued is thurmond was there all along at key moments and was a key figure. and the people to take them safely. it's not just like republican strategists thought thurmond was
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a kook. they didn't think he was a kook. goldwater didn't think he was a kook would've try to to get thurmond to switch parties in 19 safety for. richard nixon certainly didn't think he was a cook when thurmond helped them coming in a, kerry two states in the south when george wallace was running in 1968. so that's an important, you know, that controversy raised those broader issues really about thurmond's role in modern conservative history. and it's one of the things that sparked the idea for me to write the book in the first place. >> do you make much mention of -- [inaudible] >> before they were on the same ticket they were something of rivals. in fact it's a fascinating story that early on, the whole dixiecrat thing was in reaction to an address that shouldn't
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give, a set of proposals that truman gave in early 48. and all the southern governors, meeks in north florida outside of tallahassee at a governors conference that's what whole thing starts. and right was the hard line when. and thurmond, worked out by his close advisers said no, they said what we need is a 40 day cooling off period where we can figure out what we're going to do in that kind of thing. thurmond offered a resolution for cooling off period, and that's what got adopted. but then as he was asking people what they could do you realize that can people interested in cooling off. they wanted to stay fired up. and thurmond then kind of double down and said i need to keep involved in this. the reason, many people in south carolina recognized this at the time, is that thurmond was looking ahead to 1950.
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his gubernatorial term would be up in 1950. he couldn't succeed himself in after our politics and you want to run for the senate, the next rung on the latter. and to do that he had to get to the right of johnson. so in some ways it's ironic, thurmond runs for president so he can run for the senate. he runs for the presidency in 48 to really, you know, establish himself among the state rights crowd in south carolina and across the region. make a name for himself there. because ironically enough he was thought of as a liberal for a number of different reasons but because of his labor politics but also because he had called the fbi in to investigate a lynching that it happened in south carolina in 1947, and that was not a popular thing to do, to called in the fbi to investigate a lynching. but that's all in the book. it's a fascinating moment in his
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career. that's when a lot of things are really moving around. both in history and in southern politics. yes? >> over the years, i have read that haley barbour in his role as party chair was -- [inaudible] but i notice his name is not listed in the index. >> haley barbour certainly has played a huge role in modern republican politics, enormously talented guy who started off in mississippi politics and rose to great prominence, to be party chairman in 96. at there have been a lot. he was an important figure in kind, important southerner in building the modern gop. as you know, there have been important south killings, too. lee atwater. atwater is a guy who comes out of thurmond's political shop, yeah, that really has a huge influence on gop politics in the
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1980s. runs george bush's campaign in 1988. so i don't talk about haley barbour simply because this is really about, it's about thurmond's and his influence. i'm certain haley barbour and strom thurmond met many times but they were, ever coming out of different states and they weren't -- [inaudible] >> well, but atwater was haley barbour's age. they were the same generation. and thurmond had an important, i mean, thurmond was around a long time. 48 years in the senate. but it's more about the fact that haley barbour is a mississippi rather than south carolina. that he wasn't in this book. any other questions? thank you all again -- yes? >> i have one question. you were criticized by a man in "the wall street journal" "wall street journal" -- >> oh, i'm so glad you brought this up. [laughter] i didn't ask them to ask this question.
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>> his name is lee -- >> lee edwards. >> lee edwards. >> that's right. >> who is also a biographer, as you are. >> and he's a historian. he's written several histories of the conservative movement. he himself has been a member of the conservative movement, an important person in that. >> jealousy? >> no, it's not jealousy, i can do that. but one thing about mr. edwards being asked to write that review, is that one of the things he takes issue with is i call him from his ghost writer because -- it was thurmond's staffer, former staffer of thurmond who has characterized his work on the book as being ghost writing. i talked to them and after talking to him, i e-mailed mr. edwards and i asked him if i could interview him about his relationship with traffic and what work he did in that kind of thing. and he said it was 40 years ago, yeah, as any entity would be a waste of your time and mine. so my own thing i can do, he was
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brave enough to read a criticism after the book when it got right. he got a number of things wrong. he quoted goldwater speaking with him and talking about the importance of equal rights is columbus after land a few days before the president kempe in 1964. what he didn't say about that meeting is it began by everyone singing dixie. there were many confederate flags. "the new york times" reported in that meeting that a considerable section in the seats was devoted to denouncing the 1964 civil rights act. and any review that says that the only key issues in thurmond's career for constitutionalism and national security, i don't think can be taken, i don't think that passes the laugh test. of what we all know about strom thurmond and his career. so i was disappointed that "the wall street journal" felt that this man, let a close relationship with thurmond had been employed by thurmond, he
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admits that in the review, but then talks about that he was the best person to evaluate the book for the readers. i thought that was disappointing. >> he had no knowledge of what was being done at the time, that edwards, that was going to be, they didn't tell you ahead of time? >> no. >> that he was going to be the person? >> no. >> you have any other papers like the new times or anything -- >> there were no other reviews to the "washington post," washington monthly, if you google "strom thurmond's america" you will find some. and you should google it. [laughter] >> what's next? >> i don't know. i'm not sure that i just finished this once i'm still trying to figure it out. [inaudible] >> no, no. thank you all for coming out. it's been a real pleasure. [applause]
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>> we'd like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback, >> we are here on booktv on c-span2. we want in addition to author elizabeth ames was written a book with steve forbes, "how capitalism will save us: why free people and free markets are the best answer in today's economy." elizabeth ames, first of all, tell us about yourself and your personal expense, particularly when it comes to economics. >> okay. well, i've been a financial journalist, but i've also been on both sides of the press release. so i started as a journalist and had in my own pr business, and i have also done projects, other communication projects with clients, among them riding, co-authoring books. and basically i have worked with
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steve forbes on a flat tax book and conversations led to the idea for this book. >> how did you meet steve forbes? >> i met him many years ago at an event that i did when i was at the university of southern california. and one thing led to another. i moved to new york, back to new york. i should i'm from new york and started working of course. so elizabeth ames, your practical express prior to working at forbes, how do you inject that into a capitalism will say the? >> basically i've learned a lot since forbes. when i was at forbes i learned a lot about markets. and again i was a journalist. i began as a journalist and i worked at business week many years ago as a journalist, but when i started to work as an entrepreneur, i learned about the fact that you really need to have economic freedom is to create jobs. and it's something i learned personally. and if you're just getting a
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paycheck you really don't understand how government can affect a small business and job creation. i experienced that firsthand. so that was one of the things that led me to think that this would be a useful idea for a book. >> over all, philosophically, how do you see the role of government, the role of congress the role of the president in the economy? >> basically this book raises that and answers that question. we need government but we need government to create a stable environment for businesses to function and to create jobs. when government metals too much into the economy, government and its decisions and policies are driven by politics, and markets are driven by the desire of individuals and companies to meet the need that the real world needs people. that's the difference in what government does and what markets do. so you need government to create, to protect us from
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fraud, from wrongdoers. there are wrongdoers and government can protect us from them, but overly meddlesome government will, it goes too far and you end up depressing enterprise and innovation and job creation. >> the 2008 financial situation and the so-called bailout, are you supportive of that government intervention? >> we raise and answer the question in that book. you could see that as sort of, you know, emergency intervention. if the government had done it and got now that would've been fine but, unfortunately, they stayed too long. i think the comparison we make is to katrina. there's in emergency aid and basically people get up and back on their feet. and what unfortunately the government has used the financial crisis as an excuse to expand itself and expand control
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of the economy. >> and at what point would you say the government should have stepped out and the emergency aid in? >> well, i mean they didn't allow banks that want to pay back the money. obviously, they were making it difficult to they really made him keep it and try to force it on banks that didn't want to take the bailout in the first place. so basically, you know, some people really have argued with the fact that we basically make this point that the bailout was necessary. but, you know, basically they went too far, and certainly afterwards, they use the financial crisis as an excuse to overregulate with dodd-frank, et cetera. >> we're in to bring you here at freedomfest in las vegas. you find a lot of opposition to that idea, to some of the ideas in this book? >> now i think people, no, i think people are very much, that's what this event is about.
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it is about free people and free markets. people understand what's in this book, and that's what, the whole idea that it's best to serve the needs of people by free enterprise, what is free enterprise? its people trying to meet needs, their own needs and the needs of others. that's what it's about and that's what these people understand. they understand entrepreneurial business that they understand the fact that you create jobs not through government through innovation. innovation has created the most jobs. think about it. government invent the automobile? no. >> elizabeth ames, want to like to write a book with steve forbes? >> it was a great learning experience. and i wanted it was almost like, and the way it was like a higher education. >> one of the themes we've been talking with authors here of course is about the moralism or
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a moralism of capitalism. is there a moral component in your view to capitalism? >> yes, there is. that's going to be the subject of the next book coming out at the end of the month, at the end of august. capitalism is moral because it is, again, it's about beating real-world needs of other people. a free market transaction, a reciprocal exchange but each person provides benefit to the other. george gilder who i saw you into doing talked about it as giving. he's really great talking about that. so capitalism, basically people who believe in big government, they see a free market transaction as a one-sided transaction, that this exploitation. but it's not about that. each side gets benefit. it may not be ideal, you know. but there's benefit always otherwise it would not occur because it's in a free market.
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if no one is forcing you to an end to this exchange, and that's what makes it, that's why there's benefit to both sides. the unilateral, you know, transaction is one that takes place between the individual and government. that's where it's -- >> what's your enthusiasm level for mid-run as a candidate? >> well, i think -- mitt romney as a candidate. >> i think he's going to be a very good president. i think he gets it, and i think he is moving forward, and they think he is saying some things that we need to hear. >> you mentioned a new book coming out. what was the title of the? >> the new book coming out is freedom manifesto, why free markets are moral and big government isn't spent that's another book written by you and steve forbes? >> yes, it is. >> we've got it over here. >> it's a little card. >> you've got your back over there. we want to show you the current
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book while she fishes that out. "how capitalism will save us," and here is the new book by elizabeth ames and steve forbes, freedom manifesto, and the subtitle is -- >> why free markets are moral and big government isn't. spent why is it big government moral? >> because big government makes decisions and takes action based on political agendas, based on selfish political agendas but it's about meeting its own political selfish needs, and free markets are meeting the real-world needs of people. >> well, as somebody who false economics, former financial journalist and some of who is opinions on this issue, bernie madoff, jamie dimon, in your view with those -- were those two treated fairly by the federal government? >> bernie adolf was treated fairly but i wouldn't put it in
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the same action. bernie madoff got what he needed to get. i think of him as a serial killer of capitalism. and you don't come you don't condemn a whole society of a criminal element, in street crime. you don't say we should have, everybody should be in jail, we've got criminals. and there's bad people in all systems, but the capitalist system, the free market system is going to channel people self-interest into the most destructive activities that benefit everyone. spent an jamie dimon being called before congress because his company lost money. >> there's risks. there's risk in markets. he did a good job in those hearings pushing back. i think what's really scary right now is that people who don't really understand markets or good don't like markets are demonizing risk. when you invest money, the whole point is that you may or may not work out.
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that's unfortunately what happens, and unicode if you don't have risk, you don't have reward, you don't invest, you can, all of these great companies that have grown up today where somebody's, they were at one time risky investments. and they worked out. >> and this is booktv on c-span2. were on location in las vegas at freedomfest. we've been talking with elizabeth ames was the co-author of this book, "how capitalism will save us: why free people and free markets are the best answer in today's economy," at the co-author of this upcoming book, freedom manifesto, why free markets are moral and big government isn't it and we will be talking with her co-author, steve forbes, as well about this book. >> you don't always find many newspaper editors come in 80 era, embracing investigative reporting to the point we've seen over the years is not just economics. it's the discomfort that investigative reporting causes any newsroom.
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because it's troll. it's about more than economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers of someone powerful, that gives those people running into complaint to the publisher. and their stories are legion over the years about those things happen to with the internet we were fortunate, and almost all our career to work for people who are really strong and upright in the area, and just let the chips fall where they may. >> the investigative team of donald barlett and james steele will take your calls, he knows and tweets this month on in depth, the pair to begin the collaborative work in the '70s are the co-authors of eight books, their latest, "the betrayal of the american dream." watch live sunday january 6 at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> hedrick smith's newest book is called "who stole the american dream." he joins us on booktv. mr. smith, who stole the american dream? >> welcome you got to get into
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the whole story of the narrative of our last 30 or 40 years. it happens in economic come inside economic system, middle class gets cut out a pitcher of american growth and prosperity. that's basically american corporate leaders are doing that. there's a big power shift in washington, and is led by a guy named lewis powell, the supreme court justice before he went on the court writes a secret memo to do business leaders of american says you're getting taken to the cleaners by the consumer movement combine environmental movement, by the labor movement, and you've got to get into washington and get and again. they got in the game and ever since then we've had a policy tilt since the late 1970s, a policy tilt that is hurt the middle class and has moved money uphill against gravity defying the laws of gravity up to the wealthy from the middle class. >> so it's both political and economic. it's not just a bunch of guys sitting around in a room saying let's screw the middle class. it happened historically, but if we don't understand how and why will not get to a good fix of
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her situation right now spent with one example of how the middle-class in your view has gotten hurt? >> take the 401(k) program. it came in a place of lifetime pension but it should hundreds of billions of dollars from the accounting of corporations onto the shoulders of the middle class. take the housing crisis. $6 trillion of the king leonard wealth in the mortgages and equity and american homes was moved during the housing boom, not the bust, the boom, $6 trillion move from the middle-class homeowners to wall street banks. those are two big enormous changes in wealth that happened during this period. >> when did you start forming the idea to write this book at your previous book was -- >> well, to be perfect on as i done a bunch of documentaries for pbs on is wal-mart good for america, can you afford to retire? ..


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